Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I Suppose I Should Comment On This

US Supreme Court upholds late term abortion ban.

I'm not terribly obsessed with women's rights. It's not that I don't expect them, demand them, or cherish them, but rather that I already feel pretty secure with them. That fight belonged to another generation of women; I am their beneficiary. Whatever leftover issues there were when I was a girl are long gone. Today, my daughters are just as confident about their rightful claim to the world as my son is.

I do think people tend to forget why reproductive freedom is an issue, though. It's probably hard to appreciate that 100 years ago a woman could be arrested for practicing birth control in this country. A woman had no right to her own body... it was merely a vessel for her husband's progeny. It made her financially dependent. It made her physically dependent. A woman spent her life as an extension of someone else. She was trapped.

We've come a long way, baby.

There's a weird bit of Big Brotherism at play these days, though, and it's not just focused on women. It's the same bit of Big Brotherism that determined that the shell of Teri Schiavo should live forever. And that the dying should be arrested for inhaling marijuana. It's like we've got an arm of government that suddenly demands to decide what is best for us. How we should live, how we should die, who we can love, etc. I long for the days when we were only dealing with helmets and seat belt laws. Now the stakes are so much higher.

So anyway, I don't accept the framing that attempts to turn people like me into abortion advocates. I don't sit around gleefully celebrating the destruction of human embryos. What I do think is that it's none of my damn business what a doctor and patient decide is appropriate for health and body. I may not be entirely comfortable with abortion, and I am especially not comfortable with late term abortion, but I do not believe it is the government's position to step into personal health decisions. Period.


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